Welcome to Dedworth Middle School
Welcome to Dedworth Middle school and to a new year. The school is already in full flow and the pupils have all come back eager to learn. I have been extremely impressed already at the standard of work being produced and the calm atmosphere throughout the school. The year 5 pupils have settled quickly and are already looking confident in their surroundings. We need to welcome a number of new members of staff and I am delighted that they are now with us to support the school moving forward. The presentation evenings were well attended last week and we have received positive feedback about the content. We also take on board any suggestions about what you would like included in any future meetings. On those evenings it was a pleasure to re acquaint with existing families and meet many new parents.
This year we have a number of priorities. One of which is to continue our drive to develop reading. To support this we are implementing a new Accelerated Reading scheme. We are keen to engage with parents and carers to support us in raising standards by reading at home with your children, as this is absolutely key to their progress. We have developed a new structure in Key Stage 2 which is much more in line with a Primary curriculum and we have implementing the ‘Big Write’ across the whole school to ensure pupils have more opportunity to develop their writing and build their capacity to write for longer. Mathematics is also a focus as we continue to have a big push on times tables and the four operations. Homework timetables will support this and there are many tools on the website that will help.
Our relationship with parents and carers is extremely important in order that we support the children in all areas of school life during their time at the school and we do have a Parent Forum that we will continue to work with during the year to gather important feedback from the community. I am hoping that your child has spoken to you about the story of ‘Austin’s Butterfly’ that I shared with them in assembly as it underpins the message that I am giving about always wanting to improve themselves and striving to do better. It also discussed how we support each other in a positive way to improve which reflects our ethos of ‘Working together, making a difference’. We are finding as many opportunities as we can to develop our pupil voice and pupil leadership and will continue to develop Parent voice through questionnaires, surveys and the forum. Don’t forget that all parents are part of the Friends of Dedworth and are welcome to come and support, help at events or offer suggestions for further events. Contact Mrs North if you are interested. You will also notice that we wish to appoint new parent governors. At this time of change with expansion, changes in curriculum and assessment and many new staff it is a really critical time for us to strengthen our team. If you think you may be interested or want to know more, contact the school to speak to me or Mrs Cohen our Chair of Governors.
Our core values underpin our determination that all of our pupils are healthy and successful in the future and we are encompassing and developing the skills of LORIC as the vehicle to do this. It will underpin all the work that we do in school and I urge you to talk about these skills with your children. Listening to how the pupils and staff are talking in lessons and around the school is evidence that highlighting these attributes is already having a real impact with pupils thinking about the skills they are using and how these are having an impact on their learning. There is information about LORIC on the website.
I am looking forward to a successful year and meeting many of you at our first event, the Macmillan ‘World’s biggest Coffee morning’ on the morning of Friday 20st October.
Mr Graeme Aldous
Vacancies for Parent Governors - Deadline 13th October
Snap Map warning for Parents
One of the most common Apps at the moment is Snapchat. You may have heard reports about a new feature called “Snap Map”. This is causing a fair amount of fuss in the news.
It is the ability to be able to view a map showing the exact location of where they are and also their 'friends'.
This is concerning as it could make their whereabouts known to strangers as not every user is careful about who they add to their friends list.
An immediate suggestion for everybody, is to set their settings to be “Ghost Mode”. That way nobody is able to see their location. You do this by:
There are a couple of links which describe the Snapchat App and how to control settings.Snap Chat Site Link
ThinkUNow Internet Safety Guide
NSPCC Net-Aware Site
Parent/Carer Workshops - CSE, Online Safety and Substance Misuse
The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in conjunction with the local police are running a series of free to attend workshops for parents and carers. Click here for more details.